JFRD budgeting funds for more ballistic gear for first responders

JFRD requests more ballistic gear for first responders

In light of the shooting at the Landing in downtown Jacksonville, Jacksonville Fire and Rescue Department has asked the city for more resources to better protect their crews in active situations.

“We have a new policy and these are new pieces of equipment,” JFRD Firefighter Zachary Washing said.  “So we haven’t even had the opportunity to use these in a live incident. We hope to not have to use them.”

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Action News Jax previously reported the fire crews were first on the scene of the shooting because they happened to be training across the street. With this incident, JFRD has expressed interest in buying more equipment to best protect their crew members for any situation they respond to.

JFRD has partnered with the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office for active shooter training for the past year.  They credit this training for their quick response at the Landing.

As they continue their training, they said they are looking to improve their response with new protocols and procedures.

“We had been training for the last year on active shooter scenarios, using the equipment, coordination with JSO and JFRD making sure that we’re communicating making sure we know where everyone is, what’s going on,” JAFF President Randy Wise said.

He said the City is aware of their interest in more ballistic gear and thankful for the gear the City has already provided for them.

“The city has provided the gear we have now and we’re going through a budget process now,” Wyse said. “Hopefully we’ll see at the end of that there will be some more gear bought for the firefighters to spread it out across the city.”

Action News Jax reached out to City officials to ask if this request will be in the next budget meeting but have not heard back yet.